We spent Saturday night playing board games with my family. I love board games. I’ll always pass on playing cards (I hate cards) but not Board Games. They’re exciting and fun and they can get people out of their shell.
I like any kind of board game but some more so than others. Trivia games make me viciously competitive. Puzzle games make me feel like an idiot (especially when I play against the husband). So I particularly games that are lighthearted and involve lots of shouting and big groups of people.
Here are some Fun Board Games that are my favourites.
We play Things a lot with our friends, mostly because you can play it anywhere and you don’t even need to own the game to play. It just takes some pens, strips paper, and creative minds to come up with your own “Things” to get this game going. Like, Things Sam never does in the kitchen. . . or Things you would never tell your grandma. . . or anything like that.
This was a big hit with our family a couple years back and I think it needs to make a comeback. It’s loud and rowdy and easy to pick up and play with just about anyone. And, the more the merrier.
I’ve never played this game and kept any kind of score; it’s more of a fun activity than a competitive game. The whole process of drawing pictures and guessing what they are supposed to be can get pretty damn ridiculous if you’re playing with the right crowd.
To get the idea, this tumblr is genius: The Horrors of Scribblish. You’re welcome.
Cranium has it all: words, acting, drawing, and trivia. It’s a really good game to play with a big group of people because it gets pretty wild.
And then there’s My All Time Favourite . . .
There are not a lot of things I would say that I am extraordinarily skilled at, but I’ll freely admit that at Monster Mash I am prodigious. I don’t think I’ve ever been beaten and I blow the competition out of the water. . .
. . . unfortunately that means no one ever wants to play
What are your favourite board games?3 Comments
Since I was in university I have been donating blood with Canadian Blood Services every 56 days, that is, every time I’m eligible.
There were times I had to delay my donations because my iron is too low to make the cut, or I had travelled to a malaria risk country, or I got a piercing, but I always go back as soon as I can.
Today I had my 35th donation.
And also I broke the 4 minute barrier for the first time. That’s right, I pumped out a pint in 3:58 something that the phlebotamist said she only sees happen once every 3 or 4 years and never in a woman. Why yes, I am bragging.
I didn’t get a sticker or a pin or anything like that to commemorate number 35. But I did get cookies that I luxuriously dunked in milk.8 Comments
This month is
Where do you blog from most often?
I probably do most of my blogging from my desk. I do spend an ample amount of time on my computer in the kitchen and in the living room, but that’s just for referencing recipes or browsing the internet.
When it comes to sitting down to actually write, I’m most comfortable at my desk.11 Comments
Wishing a very happy birthday to my favourite. . .
Read Part 1, my January to June recap here.
This epic month involved two and a half glorious weeks in Greece, which has been my dream vacation for so long.
We explored the labyrinthine streets of Chania, hiked the gorges of Loutro, visited the Minoan palace of Knossos in Heraklion, saw the blue domed churches and whitewashed buildings of Santorini and took in ancient Greek culture at the archaeological sites of Athens.
Matt and I had our 4th wedding anniversary.
I had my champagne birthday – 27 on the 27th.
And for my birthday Matt and I went to Chicago to experience the best new restaurant in the US, Next, and their Sicily menu– 13 courses including this roasted pork shoulder, the most delicious piece of meat I’ve ever eaten.
I was an extra in a movie.
I’m ready for my close up!
I was inspired by the summer Olympics to start incorporate Olympic Weightlifting (Cleans, Jerks, & Snatches) into my workouts and I’ve been loving them ever since.
And I started a plan to lose 6cm from my waist, which is still in progress right now, but may have stalled a bit over the Christmas holidays. I’m tracking my progress in the right sidebar.
I cooked up a big batch of my favourite soup ever: Fire Roasted Corn Chowder.
My ciabatta bread won second place at the sham show otherwise known as the Harrow Fair. The judges must have taste buds in their eyes since they managed to pick a winner without even tasting the bread.
I kicked off the long and boring football season by going to the Detroit Lions home opener at Ford Field with my dad, his girlfriend Silvia, and Matt. I admit it was an exciting game with the Lions scoring the winning touchdown in the last 10 seconds.
I captained a team in the Run for the Cure for the 7th consecutive year in honour of my mom who passed away from breast cancer in 2006.
I went Apple Picking.
I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K race in downtown Chicago with Vicki and Tina that culminated with a hot chocolate and fondue party in Grant Park.
I got a personal record on my deadlift with a 225lb lift.
I watched Matt coach his football team to their first ever division victory.
I baked these amazing Filipino date & walnut bars appropriately named Food for the Gods.
I did 14 straight days of Moksha Hot Yoga.
I switched up my weightlifting routine to build strength in 2013 with Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 programme.
I finished the year with yet another wonderful Holiday Season where I cooked a lot, got together with my family, watched my stunning cousin marry her perfect match, and ate fondue with friends.
Read Part 1, my January to June recap here.5 Comments
Yes, I’m still recapping my 2012.
It was a good year in that it wasn’t a bad year and sometimes that’s the best we can hope for, right?
You can read Part 2, July through December here.
I start 2012 off with a bang in January by accomplishing my biggest goal for the year: a marathon. I never thought that running a marathon would be so much fun, but Disney knows how to plan an epic event, that’s for sure.
In spite of having a terrible bout of runner’s trots (naturally) and stopping at every mile for photo ops with Disney characters, I managed to finish in 5:15. Not too shabby!
You can read all about it here.
Of course the marathon also meant travel to Orlando where my friend Tina and I hit up Magic Kingdom, and both Universal Studios parks. I finally got to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but it was Seuss Landing that really captured my heart.
In February I started learning to play the guitar somewhat spontaneously after years and years of wanting to do it. The hobby stuck with me and I pick up my guitar to practice nearly every day.
I also went to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago while on a trip to visit my sister Vicki.
I also wrote a post about a poll indicating that Black Women are Heavier and Happier with their Bodies than White Women which got a lot of attention.
“F.A.T. means fabulous and thick, full and tasty, fluffy and tender.” – Mo’nique
I celebrated Easter with my favourite Lebanese foods.
I made my own Homemade Fig Newtons. . . multiple times. And ate them all.
And I wrote about how “Athletic” is a stupid way to describe female body types; my favourite body image post this year.
I started more seriously swapping out my steady state, moderate intensity cardio exercise for more Interval Based Conditioning exercises like Terrible Twenties and Gut Busters and Sled Push Substitutes. Later I also started doing more tabata sprints as well.
Matt and I went on a date to Colasanti’s a greenhouse/petting zoo/amusement park/banquet facility hybrid. (I know, the concept really doesn’t make much sense unless you’re from Essex County).
And I made Homemade Clotted Cream for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee which I thought was a disaster but it actually tasted really good. I consulted Joe Pastry who called it a success, so I stopped worrying about it and enjoyed my tasty butterfat.
Of course I had to make cream scones to go with it.
I went to the Freedom Fest – one of the biggest fireworks displays in the world – which is right on the Detroit River.
And I actually didn’t fuck up a batch of granola for once! I baked this dangerously good granola and didn’t even burn it.
Read Part 2, July through December here 4 Comments
My 2012 posts with the most pageviews were really versatile and included everything from body image to recipes to travel to weightlifting. I’m a veritable Martha Stewart.
Turns out that in 2012 people really liked when I wrote about naked women and baking soda. . . but not necessarily together.
The post where I talk about naked women and how I appreciate the changing room’s token nude.
The more effort we put into covering up our imperfections by hiding our bodies from other women then the less real, unaltered images of female bodies we are exposed to.
The post where I declare Alton Brown’s soft pretzel recipe the best ever and talk a little about baking soda chemistry.
The key to making soft pretzels with a chewy interior and a crispy, deep brown crust is an alkaline bath.
Chania is a beautiful city. It’s old town area has really quaint winding alleys that are great for tourists to explore.
The post with a recipe for a delicious coconut curry with vegetables and dumplings. I’ve made this recipe several times and it is really good! I’m glad it made the top 10.
Oil Down is the national dish of Grenada and is usually made at a big party on the beach, or so I’ve read. I made this in my kitchen, so it’s not quite as fun, but it still tastes awesome.
The post where I offer up a workout plan with 3 strength exercises followed by a circuit of 3 exercises. This wasn’t my favourite routine from 2012, (this Olympic Routine was) but it was pretty popular with readers
With a circuit workout I think I need to change it up more often to keep myself motivated and excited.
The post where I bake Irish Soda Bread. Again I find myself talking about the chemistry of baking soda. Apparently alkalis are popular with the readers.
Matt said that this was the best soda bread he’s had, even though he didn’t like it. And didn’t want to eat it. Not exactly a raving review, but I’ll take it I suppose.
The post where I make a framed collage of my marathon medal, bib, and pictures.
So after a very minimal time commitment and minimal cost I ended up with a sweet homemade collection of my marathon memories. Fun times.
The post where I eat pizza out of the garbage build a wood fired oven in my backyard out of garbage can and a pile of dirt. True story.
Matt called me at the office, to ask me a very important question after spending much of the morning with Zack digging up our crab grass infested lawn:
“Umm… I got a whole bunch of dirt here, you want to make a garbage can pizza oven?”
DO I EVER!
The post where I talk about nudity—again—and how much I like seeing Lena Dunham naked. Although I think most people came to this post looking for Lena Dunham porn.
Lena Dunham isn’t terribly fat. Her body is imperfect, so basically she looks completely normal, like most of the women I know, and not at all like the stereotypical ‘perfect’ Hollywood body that we’re exposed to.
The post where I talk about how ‘inspiring’ images of fit women can be damaging to our body positivity.
Fitspo images aren’t any better for our self esteem than glossy magazine images of dangerously thin models. They’re photoshopped. They’re not attainable. And, quite frankly, they’re not all that healthy either.
21 Books. It might be a new record.
I can’t say they were all hits, but a lot of them were very good.
This was the year of the historical novel for me. I read a book set in almost every decade of the 20th century. I think I’ve discovered my new favourite genre.
It’s a lot of reviews so I’ll keep it brief. Here we go. . .
Women – Charles Bukowski
Pathetic story and a terrible waste of my time. Recap: a sad old man wakes up, gets drunk, has sex with someone, (anyone), passes out, repeats.
Atonement – Ian McEwan
The author manages the impossible: formulating an extremely well written and intriguing story centred around the word CUNT.
Plain Truth – Jodi Picoult
Picoult books. If you’ve read one you’ve read them all.
The Red Wing Sings – Tom Omstead
I read this because it was written by a local author. I appreciated his effort, but the writing was amateurish.
Left Neglected – Lisa Genova
Does the world need yet another clichéd story of the stereotypical ‘overworked’ woman who rediscovers the importance of family after a big accident? No.
Snuff – Chuck Palahniuk
Pro: I did learn a lot of facts about the porn industry. Con: It was so ridiculously over-the-top that I can only describe it by rolling my eyes.
Eating the Dinosaur – Chuck Klosterman
A fabulous series of essays reflecting on such critically important world topics such as the complexities oftime travel and the awesomeness of ABBA.
Moloka’i – Alan Brennert
Life as a Hawaiian leper ain’t so bad after all. I loved this story about how small pleasures make the long life in exile of a young leper worthwhile.
Before I Go to Sleep – S. J. Watson
I should read more great thrillers like this one. I’m now officially terrified of my family manipulating my memory when I develop amnesia. ‘Cause amnesia is super common. Soap operas say so.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake – Aimee Bender
Weird. But also totally unique. A girl can taste people’s emotions in the food they cook and her brother has an equally bizarre power.
On the Road – Jack Kerouac
Why is this book so acclaimed? Sal drives all across the country and does stupid things. That’s it. Am I missing something special?
The Given Day – Dennis Lehane
I wouldn’t have picked up this book if it weren’t on sale for $2 when Borders closed. I’m glad I did. Dennis Lehane is a great writer and a good story-teller.
Moonlight Mile – Dennis Lehane
Not as good as The Given Day, but still kept me interested.
The Bonesetter’s Daughter – Amy Tan
This might be my favourite book all year. An American woman discovers the scandalous and intriguing family history of her mother’s life in China in the 30s and 40s.
The Alchemist – Paul Coelho
It’s got a lot of good messages but I won’t give it the rave reviews it’s been getting for years. If I wanted a parable I’d read the Bible.
The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson
Wasn’t convinced that I liked it until the very end. It’s creepy but not mind-blowing.
The Christmas Wedding – James Patterson
Hated it. It was like reading an author’s brainstorm (ie. incomplete).
Rules of Civility – Amor Towles
Love, love, loved it. Mostly because I feel a strange connection to 1930s New York. Maybe I was there in a past life.
The Casual Vacancy – J.K. Rowling
I liked it more than I was expecting. Now, if only J.K. can rewrite Harry Potter with just as much sex and swearing.
Fall of Giants – Ken Follett
Highly recommended. Well researched and well written historical novel about the first world war. My only complaint is that Follett’s sex writing is boring and dry.
Winter of the World – Ken Follett
This sequel to Fall of Giants didn’t spark me quite as much as book 1.
I ate a lot of food and cooked even more.
Christmas Eve was the main event hosted by my sister and I at my dad’s place. We made sushi, spring rolls, pulled pork sliders, mini grilled cheese sandwiches with shooters of tomato soup, baked brie, and a bunch of other tantalizing appetizers.
Turns out, these Pear, Blue Cheese, and Toasted Walnut Salad Spears? Seriously good.
Lots of Hot Yoga and Weightlifting
I started up my new 5/3/1 weightlifting routine of presses, squats, and deadlifts. It has been keeping me in the gym slightly longer than usual with all the reps on the accessory exercises.
My friend Jasmine got a pass for the hot yoga studio while she’s in town for Christmas so we went together a couple of times and I went without her too. Ahhh… I’m loving yoga.
. . . a tea infusing travel mug from Matt.
It has a lid I can use to rest the mesh insert when my tea is done steeping and better yet, this one is a thermos to keep my hot stuff hot.
I also scored some gift cards to SportChek (I see hiking boots in my future!) and a nice cash-infusion.
I Experienced the Awesomeness of Fondue, again.
My girlfriends and I got together for a FUN-due evening while everyone was home for the holidays. We hit up The Melting Pot for the cheesy, meaty, and chocolatey goodness of fondue.
I love going here for dinner. It’s makes for a nice, long night out where you can chat while your skewers of meat simmer away in the pot.
I saw my cousin get hitched
I went to the bachelorette party last weekend hosted by my cousin’s seriously fun friends and then came the rehearsal on Thursday where I met more of her seriously fun friends, and finally this weekend was the wedding. . . which did not disappoint.
And I’m so happy for my amazing cousin and her new husband, whom I very much adore.
I filled up on cake and a lot of cookies so I couldn’t even try the late night poutine bar (umm. . . how cool is that?!) and then I literally danced for hours.
. . . And it’s not even New Year’s yet!
Oy. What a jam packed holiday.7 Comments
My 2012 Christmas Wish List:
1) The Great Scandinavian Baking Book - I have an attraction to all things Scandinavian in a way that might suggest that I probably lived in Norway in a past life, so naturally I’m intrigued by this collection of cookies, cakes, pies, and pastries from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Plus it`s a James Beard Foundation winner, so it must be a good book.
2) Bouchon Bakery - Recipes from one of the best bakeries in America. I’ve made some of Thomas Keller’s cookies in the past (like Oreos and Chocolate Chip cookies) and they’ve all turned out phenomenal.
3) Back to Baking - this is essentially a cookbook version of Anna Olson’s tv show Bake, which is my favourite foodnetwork show right now. She focuses on teaching a concept and basic technique and then gives you options to apply it to more complicated recipes.
4) Something Plaid – like this shirt, dress, or skirt from Tommy Hilfiger. I love plaid. Love. I walked into the Tommy store a few weeks ago and the place was covered in plaid. I pretty much wanted to buy everything in sight.
5) A Cute Dress - like one of these from Dorothy Perkins. I like the 1950s style, especially the fit ‘n flare cut which seems to flatter pretty much everyone.
6) A Waffle Henley – so warm, so comfortable, so perfect for pairing with yoga pants to hang out at home.
7) Deerskin Slippers - because I will put some variation of moccasins on my Christmas list every year until I get them.
8) CBC Radio-Canada Bag - is this not the coolest bag you’ve ever seen? I saw it at Pearson airport before our flight to Greece and I was SO tempted to buy it. Later, I cursed myself for not buying it because Matt’s tote ended up breaking while we were on the trip.
9) Soufflé Dish - I’m going to need one of these if I plan on making a soufflé
10) Tea Infusing Travel Mug – I like this Aladdin one because you can pop the mesh bag up when your tea is steeped. I have an old tea mug and I have to take the whole mesh insert out or deal with really, really strong tea.
What do YOU want for Christmas this year? Maybe I’ll buy it for you!*
*Under no circumstances am I obliged to buy you anything for Christmas.4 Comments
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- Lose 6cm from my waistline
Start (Aug 15): 83cm/ 91cm/ 166.8lb
Aug 31: 82cm /89cm/ 166.8lb
Sep 10: 83cm/ 89cm/ 166.2lb
Sep 20: 83cm/ 89cm/ 166.2lb
Oct 1: 83cm/ 88cm/ 165.6lb
Oct 10: 82cm/ 89cm/ 166.6lb
Oct 31: 81cm/ 88cm/ 166.6lb
Nov 15: 81cm/ 87cm/ 169.4lb
Dec 1: 82cm/ 88cm/ 170.2lb
Jan1: 82cm/ 88cm/ 169.4lb
Feb 1: 84cm/89cm/171.8lb
Mar 15: 83cm/ 88cm/ 170.0lb
Apr 15: 82cm/ 88cm/ 170.0lb
Jul 1: 79cm/85cm/ 164.0lb
Aug 1:: 80cm/ 85cm/ 163.4lb